Peter King traces Los Angeles Rams’ improbable revival culminating in NFL Week 17 win

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BALTIMORE — They are the 21 days that should have tried Rams’ souls. Instead, these last 21 days revived Rams’ souls.

Forty players, coaches and football staff—more than any team in the league—tested positive for Covid. Two vital players were sidelined hours before the start of this ramrod schedule: at Arizona, Seattle (delayed two days because of 22 positives that week), at desperate Minnesota, at desperate Baltimore. Because of the Covid spread and the heavy rains in southern California, the team has not had a full, normal practice since early December. With all that, the Rams had to go 4-0 in this stretch to have a realistic chance to pass 10-2 Arizona and be in position to win the division.

Facing the Ravens on Sunday at the big Crabcake, the Rams’ crazy 20-19 win—keyed by superstar acquisitions Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr.—finished the crazy schedule stretch. The Rams went 4-0. They’ll win the NFC West with either a home win over the Niners this weekend or an Arizona loss to Seattle.

Going 4-0 in that three-week stretch is one of the great accomplishments this season by any NFL team, particularly in the hazy time of the record number of Covid positives. But Christmas Day highlighted a particularly bizarre weekend.

Stalwart left tackle Andrew Whitworth went to bed on Friday night, Christmas Eve, feeling lousy. The team’s head athletic trainer, Reggie Scott, told Whitworth if he didn’t feel good Christmas morning, he should report for 5 a.m. Covid testing at the team facility. Whitworth didn’t sleep much that night, felt feverish, and he knew the team needed him for the Sunday game at Minnesota, and he thought of trying to gut it out. “But I knew the responsible thing with this outbreak running through our team was to test and try to slow it down,” he said.

Los Angeles Rams v Baltimore Ravens
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and teammates. (Getty Images)

Whitworth’s first three rapid-test swabs in the 5 a.m. test were positive. He was out for Sunday. His backup, Joe Noteboom, had been out with Covid, but the Rams felt he was trending in a healthy direction, and he reported for the early test. And just as the Rams buses were about to leave for the trip to Minnesota, Noteboom’s PCR test came back positive.

The third option at left tackle, David Edwards, started. But 18 plays into the game, center Brian Allen got hurt, and the Rams shuffled the line, and undrafted rookie Alaric Jackson moved to left tackle for the last 52 snaps against the Vikings.

Jackson, the Rams’ fourth left tackle, gave up zero sacks and one pressure of Matthew Stafford. Rams 30, Vikings 23.

“The blessing in disguise,” Whitworth said, “over the last three weeks is we’ve got guys playing that never played. We’re relying on guys that we’ve never had to rely on before. There’s almost this adversity, this belief system of anybody can get in there and we can be okay. Then you get your guys back and you start getting stronger and there’s just this bond that’s bigger than whether or not one guy can do it. It’s made us have this little resolve that maybe we didn’t have as early in the year. We were a good team, but maybe something was missing. We’re more complete.”

More than that, the Rams are thriving in this ridiculous time. And about 35 of their players, having tested positive in December, now do not have to test through the end of the season, because the NFL gives players who tested positive a 90-day holiday—with a CDC nod of approval—from the testing protocols. More than half of the roster is free of the testing burden, and the Covid burden. Think how handy that will be if the Rams advance in the playoffs. Half the roster can practice and play with an uncluttered mind.

“We are playing football, and playing winning football, through the biggest pandemic of our lifetime,” said Scott, the team’s Infection Control Officer. “Today, these four important players are available. Tomorrow, they’re not. Sometimes I just pinch myself. Really, it’s incredible.”


This really was a compelling game. The Ravens have been ravaged by injury and Covid unlike any team in the league. They’re paying 89 players (about 15 above the league average), with about $77 million in 2021 cap money on IR. You could argue the five most important positions on the run-heavy Ravens are QB, RB, LT, CB and CB. The starters at every one of those spots in August—Lamar JacksonJ.K. DobbinsRonnie StanleyMarlon HumphreyMarcus Peters—were hurt and not dressed Sunday.

These must-win games are stressful enough for the players. But when I asked Baltimore vet Calais Campbell what this year had been like for him, he said, “Stressful. So stressed. Not just the game itself, but doing everything to be available for the game,” he said. “I can’t afford to test positive. My team needs me. So I try to stay at home as much as possible. Even at home, I’ve been masking up, which is so weird. My son’s looking at me like, ‘Why do you have a mask on?’ But it’s crunch time. You just can’t risk it.”

The Rams took similar precautions on their trip east Saturday. The traveling party was cut down to 75 people on a 239-seat charter—the players, by seniority, get the 30 cushy first-class seats that can lay flat—and eight buses take the 75 people to and from the team hotel and stadium. Nine or 10 people per bus seems weird. “It’s tough to have camaraderie the same as always,” Whitworth said, “because everything is designed to separate us. It’s a little isolating.”

The Rams aren’t perfect. Matthew Stafford turned it over three times for the second straight game Sunday; the Rams won’t continue to survive three stunted drives per game in the playoffs. “I hate going over all of these—I’m tired of doing it,” Stafford said in a moment of introspection after the game. The two picks were surprisingly careless, particularly the pick-six by Chuck Clark to open the scoring. It conjures Detroit Lions thoughts, and those can’t continue as the Rams think about seriously contending for the Super Bowl.

But it seems the more the Rams play together, the more they go into a sort of happy survival mode. Vets like Miller and Beckham both seem so happy to be on a contender, and their play reflects it. The two biggest plays in the game were made by the mid-season imports.

Baltimore led 19-14 with 68 seconds left, with the game on the line. The Rams had fourth-and-five at the Ravens’ 12-yard line. For one of the few times all day, the Baltimore crowd sounded like it had so many times in the Ray Lewis days. As Stafford rolled left, his first option was tight end Tyler Higbee, with Cooper Kupp the second. Both covered. Though Beckham was covered tightly coming across the middle, Stafford thought he had a tight window, and with the rush coming, he was running out of time and options. “The ball needed to get there in a hurry,” Stafford said. “I ripped it pretty good. For him to reach out and snatch it and hold onto it, take a big hit in the back, that was huge.” Beckham stretched for the first down. I bet he made it by eight inches. On the next play, Stafford fit it in to Beckham next to the right pylon. For the first time all day, the Rams led.

The Ravens had one last chance, with a first down at the Baltimore 38-yard line and no timeouts left. Miller had been jonesing for a big play all day against Ravens tackle Patrick Mekari because he respects his game, and because he arrived from Denver in trade to make big plays. This time Miller sped by and enveloped quarterback Tyler Huntley for an eight-yard sack. That was the ballgame. “To have A.D. [Aaron Donald] jump on my back, and to have all the guys go crazy, that’s what you play the game for,” Miller said.

You could hear through the door separating the Rams’ locker room and the press-conference room in Baltimore. That was one exultant team late Sunday afternoon. The Rams deserved to let loose. When they took the field in Glendale 21 days earlier, they were 8-4, two games and the tiebreaker behind 10-2 Arizona. And with a week to play, L.A. has a one-game lead, the division title in sight.

Beckham, in particular, reveled in the Ram rally. “It’s tatted on me,” Beckham said. “ ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands at moments of comfort and convenience, but times of challenge and controversy.’ “ The Rams are measuring up well.

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

What channel, time is the NFL game tonight? TV, kickoff, live stream for Colts vs Cowboys

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It’s the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys tonight on NBC and Peacock. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America before the game gets underway.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

NBC has got you covered with all you need to know about the game including the TV channel, start time, live stream information, and more.

RELATED: FMIA Week 12 – Josh Jacobs Takes Heckling Personally, And A Banner Week For Two-Point Conversion Risks

Football Night in America will also feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: How to watch Colts vs Cowboys  – TV/Live Stream info for tonight’s game

What channel is tonight’s Sunday Night Football game on?

  • Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
  • When: Sunday, December 4
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

          RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

Where to live stream Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys online tonight

Tonight’s game between the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys can be streamed live on multiple platforms tonight including NBCsports.com, the NBC Sports App, and Peacock.

This NFL season, Peacock will stream all of NBC’s NFL games including regular season and playoff games. More from Peacock’s website:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football with a Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here.

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

Week 13 Schedule

WEEK 13
Thursday, Dec. 1
Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots, 8:15 p.m., Prime Video
Sunday, Dec. 4
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m., CBS
Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m., CBS
Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., FOX
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Detroit Lions, 1 p.m., FOX
Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans, 1 p.m., CBS
New York Jets vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., CBS
Washington Commanders vs. New York Giants, 1 p.m., FOX
Tennessee Titans vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m., FOX
Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m., FOX
Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m., FOX
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 4:25 p.m., CBS
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders, 4:25 p.m., CBS
Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 p.m., NBC/Peacock
Monday, Dec. 5
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m., ESPN

RELATED: See the 2022 NFL Sunday Night Football schedule here

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

How to watch Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys: TV, live stream info for tonight’s game

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It’s the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys this Sunday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch tonight’s game.

RELATED: FMIA Week 12 – Josh Jacobs Takes Heckling Personally, And A Banner Week For Two-Point Conversion Risks

Indianapolis Colts

Matt Ryan and the Indianapolis Colts fell 24-17 to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night in their 7th loss of the season and 2nd loss under interim head coach Jeff Saturday. Saturday, a former Colts center with no professional or college coaching experience prior to this season, took over after the Colts fired Frank Reich ahead of Week 10. Reich spent 5 seasons with the Colts, reaching the playoffs just twice (2018, 2020) and finishing with a 40-33-1 record in the regular season. Indianapolis’ offensive struggles have continued this season after ranking 10th in scoring last season at 26.5 points per game. Entering Week 13, the Colts are averaging 15.8 points per game–they’re tied with the Texans who are ranked 31st in the league. Ryan went 22-of-34 for 199 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Monday night’s loss. RB Jonathan Taylor rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

RELATED: Jeff Saturday on not using timeouts – “I thought we had plenty of time”

Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys completed the season series sweep with a 28-20 win over the New York Giants last Thursday evening. Prescott finished 21-of-30 for 261 passing yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. RB Ezekiel Elliot, who was playing in his second game since returning from a knee injury, rushed for a season-high 92 yards and ignited the Cowboys’ offense scoring the first touchdown of the game. On defense, the Cowboys had 3 sacks–two of them were from OLB Micah Parsons who ranks 2nd in the league with 12 sacks this season. Dallas currently has one of the best defenses in the NFL and leads all teams with 45 sacks this season. The Cowboys have won 4 of their last 5 games and enter Week 13 just two games behind Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East lead.

RELATED: Dak Prescott – I am as confident as I can be in this team


How to watch the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys:

  • Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
  • When: Sunday, December 4
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys Game

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your tailgating needs for the 2022 Fall season, click here!

Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Playoff Picture Week 13 – Standings, clinching scenarios ahead of Colts vs Cowboys on SNF


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!